So I'm showing up pretty late to all this Rapture talk, you'll have to forgive me. I'm late to the game because I really couldn't care less about what this obscure preacher/radio host has to say. The only thing I find interesting about this whole situation is that there are so many people who are giving it a second thought.
What has this kook's prediction touched inside of you to make you be at least interested enough to make a joke about it?
Have you experienced the wrath of an authoritarian Christian or two (or several dozen), and laughing about the prediction is some sort of release of that stored anger/pain from the experience? Or is there something planted in each of us that responds to the idea of an End to All Things? We all get a sense of awe from staring at a sky full of stars or beholding an ocean, maybe someone telling you the world is going away is similar? No one I've talked to takes the man seriously, but everyone still seems vaguely interested by it. I think exploring where that interest (sarcastic though you portray it as) comes from might yield an insight into yourself. So if you have the time for an insight, take some time to consider my question.
Why are people paying attention? I think it has a lot to do with the fact that if the stakes are high enough, your ears will be perked. No matter how crazy someone is, if you hear them sincerely and coherently stating that they know for a fact the world is going to blow up on their birthday, I guess you just kind of can't fully dismiss it, even though you know you don't believe it. We're interested for at least that reason, but I think for some of us there's even more going on. But part of the reason I'm asking is that I really don't know, and I don't like to play psychologist or mind reader, so just tell me why you've responded to this so I don't have to make an ass of myself with my assumptions.